, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 191–199 | Cite as

Effect of Light with Different Spectral Composition on Cell Growth and Pigment Composition of the Membranes of Purple Sulfur Bacteria Allochromatium minutissimum and Allochromatium vinosum

  • M. A. Bol’shakov
  • A. A. Ashikhmin
  • Z. K. Makhneva
  • A. A. Moskalenko
Experimental Articles


The effect of light with different spectral composition: white, red and blue-green (the first one is absorbed by all the pigments of the cell, and the second and the third ones are absorbed by bacteriochlorophyll and carotenoids, respectively) on culture growth, carotenoid synthesis, and assembly of the light-harvesting complexes was studied for the purple sulfur bacteria Allochromatium (Alc.) minutissimum MSU and Alc. vinosum ATCC 17899. The working hypothesis on the growth of bacteria under blue-green illumination (absorbed by carotenoids) resulting in the inhibition of cell growth was tested. When equalizing the light by luxes, the intensity of illumination for each luminous flux was 1800 lx (white and red light, 4 W/m2; bluegreen light, 0.4 W/m2). The growth of the cells was recorded in white and red light, while in blue-green light an insignificant increase was observed only for Alc. vinosum at the end of the experiment (7–9 days). Regardless of the spectral composition of the light the B800-850 type LH2 complex was always assembled in Alc. minutissimum membranes, and two short-wave LH2 complexes of В800-820 and В800-840 type were assembled in the membranes of Alc. vinosum. Upon smoothing and increasing the luminous flux up to 6 W/m2 for every illumination mode, both cultures grew with approximately equal rates in blue-green light. In the membranes of Alc. minutissimum and Alc. vinosum the same types of LH2 complexes were assembled as in the case of 1800 lx illumination. It was found that blue-green light did not inhibit cell growth. At illumination of the cells collected at the end of the experiment with blue-green light for 6 h, no photooxidation of BChl850 was registered. However, in the membranes from the cells oxygen-saturated at isolation, ~50% of BChl850 was oxidized after 30 minutes of illumination. In the course of cell growth, oxygen is probably completely consumed and anaerobic conditions develop inside the cell. Under these conditions, formation of reactive oxygen species, BChl photooxidation and inhibition of the cell growth become impossible.


purple bacteria growth inhibition carotenoids HPLC pigment-protein complexes pigmentcontaining membranes light spectral composition 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Bol’shakov
    • 1
  • A. A. Ashikhmin
    • 1
  • Z. K. Makhneva
    • 1
  • A. A. Moskalenko
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Basic Biological ProblemsRussian Academy of SciencesPushchinoRussia

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